During my almost 30 years of Buddhist practice, I have, I thought, freed myself from the control of my mind. Things don't push my buttons anymore; I am at peace regardless what is going on. I react to things with dispassion, not emotion. I am free of active fear, meaning that while a fearful thought may flitter through my mind, it does not settle there because I apply my spiritual principles.
However, I have recently become aware of an area where my mind is still very much in control of me. My post, "What Lies Behind Our Good Deeds?" talks about the active presence of self-centeredness in me to this day.
This morning, I had another revelation: that when I feel attacked I revert to my primordial self and defend myself, the emphasis being on the word "feel." If someone is upset and yells at me, instead of hearing a cry for help I have taken it for an attack on me, and so my defenses go up. This is my ego-mind at work.
This in spite of my daily mantra that there is no reason for me to be defensive; that if someone speaks the truth to me it is an opportunity to grow and strengthen, and that if someone throws a falsehood at me, I don't take it personally, knowing that it stems from the person's trauma and I have compassion for them. This mantra has generally been very effective in changing my behavior.
But my failure to hear the cry for help is another example of my seeing things from my perspective, not from the other person's. And so because of the volume and emotion of the voice, I feel that I am being attacked and all rational reaction goes out the door. When I am told that I am being defensive rather than listening, hearing what is being said, I just continue to defend myself. This of course aggravates, escalates, the situation.
It is beyond vexing again how the mind can control our awareness even in the depths of meditation. This is another aspect of the issue that goes to the core of my childhood trauma. Not only did I feel that I wasn't loved or wanted, but I was unjustly yelled at by my father.
And so, I am sitting with this, shining the love and light of my true Buddha nature on my trauma, embracing it, burying it, and asking my divinity to remove this defensive reaction from me,
So to all of you, BEWARE! You may think that you have freed yourself from the control of your mind, and for the most part that may in fact be true, but there is probably some aspect of your trauma which is so central to your being that it has escaped your awareness.
May you experience peace and happiness.